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Spotify music streaming review: Pricing, features and devices
Brian Camacho is a graduate publisher for Finder’s telecommunications team. He earned a Bachelor’s in Advertising and Marketing Communications before creating content for Disney and the CUNY School of Medicine. He also runs a blog about the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game and is still waiting for an owl to deliver a letter telling him he’s a wizard.
Free tier available. If you’re a frugal music lover, then you have the option of a free Spotify experience, though you’ll have a limited number of song skips and have the occasional ad interruption
Simple to use. As one of the oldest and most popular streaming services, Spotify has had plenty of time to make exploring its many features a user-friendly experience.
Lack of song lyrics. If you’re looking to practice for your next karaoke session, you’ll find little to nothing in terms of song lyrics.
What features does Spotify offer?
As the driving force behind the rise of music streaming, Spotify established many of the features that are now standard throughout the industry:
When you’re ready to relax, host a dinner party or throw a celebration, easily access your favorite playlists for the occasion. You can also share or collaborate with friends and family.
Use Spotify’s tools to discover new music. Follow your friends on Spotify to check out what they’re into, or follow artists to keep up-to-date with their latest releases. And based on what you’ve listened to in the past, Spotify can recommend new tracks and artists it thinks you might like.
Its Discover Weekly playlist is a two hour collection of music picked based on your listening habits. It refreshes its music selection weekly to help you discover new music. Spotify recently added a Daily Mix playlist that refreshes its music daily.
Premium subscribers can download tracks to their devices for listening on the go — even when you’re not connected to the Internet. Offline play allows you to download up to 3,333 songs at once to a single device, with support for up to three devices and a total of 9,999 songs. But you need to connect Spotify to the Internet every 30 days to verify your subscription is active.
Spotify partners with Genius and Soundhound to offer lyrics to selected songs on its mobile app. Some tracks include additional information about the lyrics, providing deeper insight into the stories and meaning behind the words.
What music is available on Spotify?
Spotify offers over 35 million tracks, with big-name artists like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Ed Sheeran and Katy Perry headlining the roster.
If you’ve bought your fair share of CDs and MP3s over the years, use Spotify to play music files on your device. This saves you from managing multiple music libraries and media players.
What devices is Spotify compatible with?
Access Spotify on a range of devices by downloading its app. But you can only stream to one device at a time.
• PC or Mac web player • iPhones, iPads or iPod Touch for iOS 8 or later • Android smartphones and tablets
TVs and gaming devices
• LG Samsung • Philips • Playstation 3 and 4
Spotify also supports Google Chromecast and Wi-Fi compatible devices including smartwatches, speakers, streaming boxes and cars — but only for paid subscribers.
Smart home device compatibility
Spotify is available on more than 40 smart home devices, including the big names:
Sonos. Only with Premium subscription
Amazon Alexa.Only with Premium subscription.
Google Home. Can listen with free subscription, but you can’t choose songs.
Denon. Better sound quality with Premium subscription.
Bose. Better sound quality with Premium subscription.
Chromcast Audio. Only with Premium subscription.
How much does Spotify cost?
Spotify offers two main tiers of subscription: Free and premium.
Access to all 35 million+ tracks available on Spotify
Ads every few songs
Create and share playlists
Can’t choose songs on mobile — limited to playlists, albums or shuffle songs
Can skip up to 6 songs an hour
$9.99 a month
Stream any song from any device
Skip tracks, fast forward and rewind
Download and play music offline
Family add on
$14.99 a month
All the benefits of Premium+
Add up to six people on a single account, each with their own profile. Users must live at the same address
$5.99 a month
Discounted price for a maximum of 4 years while you’re at college
Must be enrolled full time at educational institute
Compare over 10 music streaming services
Updated January 27th, 2020
Case study: Rhys's experience
Finder Writer & Editor
Is Premium+ worth it?
As a writer, it’s important to set the mood when I delve into a project — especially a creative one. With Spotify Premium, I was able to make playlists that fit characters, general moods, themes and just about anything else I found myself needing to get going. I could also download playlists to take on the go when I didn’t have an Internet connection, and my flow wouldn’t get interrupted by advertisements.
Unfortunately, as soon as I needed to take a break from Premium, it became all but useless. Advertisements with poor sound balance that play every few songs, only being able to listen to things on shuffle and not being able to access my music without Internet killed all the features that mattered to me.
It’s hard to tell if I’ll go back to Spotify once I can fit it in the budget again, especially since I’ve gone through the hassle of recreating some of the playlists on YouTube.
Spotify launched in Sweden back in 2008 and has about 217 million users. Its solid reputation, massive library of songs, playlists and the ability to stream your library from anywhere make Spotify a solid streaming service. You won’t find much in the way of cutting edge features here however.
Yes. If it’s your first time using Spotify Premium, you can sign up for a three-month trial service. Provide your payment details at signup, but cancel before the three months is up if you decide not to stay with Spotify to avoid monthly charges.
No, songs you downloaded to your device with Spotify Premium are DRM-locked. So once you cancel, you lose your downloaded songs and playlists. However, if you resubscribe, you can get them back.
The data you use to stream music from Spotify depends on the audio quality of the songs. Its default streaming is at 96kbps, or about 2MB of data per song, and 40MB for an hour of streaming. You can improve the sound quality by going into the settings section of your library and selecting High or Extreme quality. If you have Spotify Premium, save data by downloading the songs to your device.
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